The capital budget tabled by the King government today reaffirms they are skilled at storytelling but continue to disappoint when it comes to follow-through.
Something that is still the big priority for the King government remains highways, roads, and bridges.
“The largest amount committed by this government in this budget for the coming year is a whopping $80M in Transportation and Infrastructure,” said Bell. “This amounts to 26% or $1 of every $4 it has in its budget. More roads are nice but a responsible government would provide for peoples’ basic needs first. That’s what it means to be ‘about people’.”
In this latest budget the King government is only promising to spend $64M in housing next year, which includes renovations and new builds. This is an area that government consistently over promises and underspends.
“Everybody needs shelter to survive, it’s a human right that far too many Islanders struggle with, so housing must be a top priority,” said Bell. “Government should be spending more on housing than paving.”
For healthcare, the story is the King government will spend a total of $77M next year in Health and Wellness and in Health PEI combined.
“Healthcare is critical to the well-being of Islanders. Government should be spending more on healthcare than paving,” said Bell. “We know our economy succeeds when people are healthy and housed so it boggles the mind why this Government continues to underspend on critical social infrastructure.”
The budget also misses the mark on climate change. The recent devastation by post-tropical storm Fiona demonstrated the upheaval and suffering caused when government fails to take its climate responsibility seriously.
“Building and preparing for the new and evolving climate reality also needs to be a high priority,” said Bell. “Government should be spending more on climate than paving.”
“This budget represents another tall tale from a tired Tory government. Islanders need leadership, boldness, and a government that believes in them and supports them. Instead, Islanders are left with empty promises from our storyteller Premier.”
Official Opposition Green Caucus speech in response to 2023-2024 capital budget (check against delivery)
Watch MLA Hannah Bell deliver the response to the 2023-2024 Capital Budget “Another tall tale from a tired Tory government“